Montgomery County is at a crossroads. Many of our County residents continue to feel the full impact of the pandemic and have not yet recovered. We must fully address the systemic inequities that were exacerbated over the last two years, strengthen our economy, and meet this moment.
Public Health & Wellness
As Chair of the Health and Human Services Committee, Gabe saw how COVID-19 disproportionately affected our communities of color. We must build on the systems created during the pandemic to shore up our safety net services, tackle food insecurity and end childhood hunger, strengthen mental health services for our youth and caretakers, and ensure our seniors and disabled residents can access county resources.
Public Safety & First Responders
Gabe is committed to finding a way to balance the need for police reform, with the recognition that our law enforcement officials are critical in our efforts to address the rise of violent crime in our community. As a member of the Public Safety Committee, he has supported legislation on enhanced police accountability, establishment of the Police Accountability Board, tax breaks for first responders, and a labor agreement that ensures our incoming officers are competitively compensated.
Affordable housing is essential to our economic growth and to retain our tradition as a just and inclusive community. As Council President, Gabe shepherded a record $190 million investment to preserve and build affordable housing. But this is not enough. He has also supported net-zero loss of affordable housing in every Master Plan, tax breaks for first responders & elderly military spouses, and believes we should more creatively redevelop county owned properties into housing near transit corridors to ensure that our residents can live where they work.
Education & Positive Youth Development
We must do everything that we can to care for our children, as the youth mental health crisis is unlike anything Gabe has seen in his 20 years in the youth development space. He has supported record funding for Montgomery County Public Schools, expanded enrichment and out-of-school programming, increased mental health support for students, and added wellness centers to high schools.
Economic & Workforce Prosperity
Montgomery County must create a policy environment that makes it easier for businesses to succeed and attract high-quality workers. As the only Councilmember with an MBA degree, Gabe continues to look for ways to improve on the county’s economic development plan. He has supported tax incentives to help small businesses cover early childhood and education expenses, invested in workforce development opportunities at the college and professional training levels including the expansion of the Montgomery College-East County campus, and promoted transit hubs, amenities, and affordable housing in our developing economic corridors.
Transportation Access & Safety
The pandemic has changed residents’ lifestyles, and we must re-evaluate our transit priorities with the needs of the whole community in mind. Our current transportation routes are predicated on getting commuters to/from work, but we should increase bus transit routes to medical services, groceries, libraries, and other amenities supplying the needs of daily life. Gabe will work with his colleagues to fully implement Vision Zero and improve pedestrian safety by adding more sidewalk buffers, crossing signs, and lowering neighborhood speed limits.
Climate change is an existential threat to our public health. This is why Gabe introduced a bill to ensure all future county legislation is evaluated for its impact on the climate. He also supported the expansion of Greenbank, promoted the preservation of the county’s Agriculture Reserve, and protected our open spaces and watersheds to safeguard our drinking water. Achieving our Climate Action Plan goals will take the involvement of every resident, and Gabe will work with key stakeholders and include diverse voices to ensure its full implementation.
Advocate for Our Vulnerable Populations
Throughout his public service career, Gabe strives to give a “voice to the voiceless”. He will continue efforts to ensure that our aging population is able to affordably and safely live in their homes, strengthen ties between the county and Senior Villages, and work to prevent the exploitation of seniors from scams. Gabe also has provided significant support for organizations that serve the developmental disability community and worked to expand workforce opportunities for people with differing abilities.
As the proud son of immigrants, Gabe watched his parents overcome challenges of acclimating to unfamiliar political and social climates, learning English, and getting an education. Throughout his career, Gabe has strived to ensure that newly arriving immigrants are more effectively connected to services and opportunities, supported funding for ESL programs, and sought ways to provide easier access to jobs, housing, and community services.
With the rise of gun violence, Gabe has taken quick actions at the county level to protect Montgomery County residents. Last year he led groundbreaking legislation to regulate the sale and possession of ghost guns by minors to the maximum extent possible under county jurisdiction. With the recent SCOTUS’ ruling to strike down the New York concealed-carry law, Gabe expedited and introduced a bill to limit possession of firearms in places of public assembly. He is a proud Moms Demand Action Gun Sense Candidate.